N@50: The Marriage Penalty

Insurance and taxes. Yes, I’m going there.

In a lot of ways, marriage is not a financial winner. In terms of insurance and taxes, I think, you lose more than you gain.

In our case, our combined health insurance premiums have gone from about $210/month to $360/month. We now pay the family rate, which is the same rate that a couple with children (any number of children) would pay. I don’t really complain about this because I understand that with insurance risk is shared so some families subsidize others. We took the $150/month hit in stride.

Then there are taxes. We’re doing ours now. We’re going to take a hit here, too. It doesn’t matter if we file jointly or separately. We still take a hit.

There are some people who figure out this penalty and decide that marriage is costly. As I understand, there are quite a few folks forgo the bonds of holy matrimony because of the cost.

Marriage is a legal bond and spiritual bond. The legal bond seems to have more value for younger folks. I encourage marriage on legal grounds to everybody know who is in child-bearing age or who has children. You need the legal protections that come with marriage. These protections lessen as you get older, but they’re still of some benefit.

Marriage as a spiritual bond is something totally different. It really does make you one. The other day hubby thought he overheard me telling someone something negative about him. Of course, I wasn’t. I explained to him that doing something like that would be crazy. Talking him down would be talking myself down. It makes no sense and it’s something I would never do. He understood and apologized for even thinking it. Of course, I graciously accepted. 🙂

That said, there are some folks who think that putting down a spouse makes them look bigger. It doesn’t. Even before I married that kind of talk disturbed me. You’re married to him/her. You sleep with him/her. You have a life and maybe kids together. So what’s with the putdowns? If he/she is that bad, what does it say about you?

As women, we tend to share stories about our spouses with our close girlfriends. Well, some of us go too far. I had a girlfriend whose spouse I could barely stand to look at. Why? Because she had told me all the awful things he had done in the marriage. I’ve learned not too listen too closely to those stories because a lot of times they’re exaggerated.  What happens is that she forgives him and I’m still angry at him.  At some point, I also become angry with her because she’s still with him.

I’m not saying that we have to pretend that our husbands are perfect.  But there is a way to lovingly tell a story about your man without dragging him and you through the mud.  And if there are negative things  we need to say, we need to learn to say them to him and not to somebody else about him. Then there are the serious cases where we need help and we need to get it and not be ashamed to tell the truth of what’s going on in our home.

My husband has figured out that I tell my mom everything.  And it’s about the same with my brother.  It’s just something I’ve always done.  Now that he’s in my life I end up telling his business right along with mine.  It’s not like I do it behind his back or with malicious intent.  I just tell my mom and brother what’s going one with us.   I do this on the phone with him in the room.  We are learning to deal with this.  I’m learning that I don’t have to tell everything.  And he’s learning that I’m going to tell some things just out of habit.  We’re a work in progress.

Yes, this post started with insurance and taxes.  How do you like the way it ended?

2 thoughts on “N@50: The Marriage Penalty

  1. I so get it. I still have to struggle to get over things my sister shared with me about my brother-in-law though she is long over it and moving on. So when I married I was determined not to share too much, too often. Now that the marriage is over, I still don’t share the negative. We failed each other as spouses, but I don’t have the right to try to convince others that he failed them as in-law, friend, or acquaintance.

    Loved this post. Best to you!!!!

    Tenure finally is done!

  2. I just find it best to deal with my own issues and if I need to talk about it and get an outside view I do; but only after I’ve exhausted all solutions myself.

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